Showing posts from June, 2011

Tonight's Reasonable Doubt (6/30/11)

Please join me and Todd Dupont for tonight's Reasonable Doubt at 8:00 p.m.. Our guest will be CrimeStoppers Director (and my favorite ever former-Chief [sorry, Warren]) Katherine Cabaniss. As always, you can (allegedly) watch it live streaming by clicking here .

Sights of Downtown

Isn't parking in a crosswalk illegal?  Just wondering.

Mr. Grant

From the day I first walked into 201 Fannin as an academic intern for the Harris County District Attorney's Office, back in the summer of 1998, there was an iconic gentleman at the front door to greet me and all other visitors to the Office.  He was an older, distinguished man with a gravelly voice and a friendly smile that we all knew as "Mr. Grant." Without knowing a thing about him, he generated the impression that he had been at the District Attorney's Office long before I had even considered law school and he would be there long after I was gone.  Despite his tenure being vastly more significant than mine would ever be, he was kind and conversational with me and anyone else who might wander in the door.  During the day, if I went out for a smoke break, he was usually outside having one, too.  He was a master at light conversation, whether it be talking about sports, the weather, traffic, etc.  He seemed to be in a perpetual good mood. In fact, his kind-hearte

Ken Magidson

At 8:30 a.m. on Christmas Eve of the worst year of my life, Ken Magidson fired me from a job that I had held and deeply loved for a little over nine years. Today, I learned that President Obama has nominated him to be the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas. My thoughts? President Obama could not have made a better selection. Ken Magidson came to the Harris County District Attorney's Office in a time when the Office was experiencing discord and turmoil unequalled in its history.  Hell, it was probably experiencing more discord and turmoil than any  District Attorney's Office had ever experienced in its history. And like the Captain of a ship at sea in the middle of a hurricane, Ken Magidson calmed the passengers and rode out the storm with a leadership that was desperately needed at the time.  He told us to all sit down, shut up, do the right thing, and this too would pass. And he was right. As the scandal of Chuck Rosenthal was impugned upon every la

New Post on the Chronicle Blog

I continue my two-timing blogging with a new post on the Chronicle website about Facebook and the 5th Amendment.  You can check it out by clicking here .

Tonight's Reasonable Doubt (6/23/11)

Tonight's guest on Reasonable Doubt with me and Todd Dupont  will be Public Defender Alex Bunin.  We've been trying to line Alex up as a guest for several weeks and are extremely excited to finally get him on the show.  Please tune in and call with questions. As always, you can tune in by clicking here  at 8:00 p.m.

Petroff's Going Away Party

There will be a going away party tomorrow (Wednesday, June 22nd)  for Kevin Petroff at the Char Bar starting at 5:00 p.m.  All are invited and his last day is on Friday. As a going away gift, I thought I would share from the archives the memo that Kevin sent upon becoming named the Deputy Dawg of Misdemeanor back in 2002.  You're welcome, Kevin. From: Petroff, Kevin   Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2002 6:11 PM To: Davidson, Luci; McClellan, Lyn; Satterelli, Michele; Aguirre, Juan; Baker, Wendy; Arnold, Charles; Ansari, Tina; Beedle, Nathan; Capitaine, Christian; Craft, Johanna; Daigre, Eleanor; Deleef, Peter; Devlin, Eric; Donnelly, Mark; Doyle, Paul; Eaglin, Barbara; Exley, William; Gilbert, Alexis; Gooch, Lori; Gostyla, Tracy; Guerinot, Eileen; Guiney, Kristin; Gupta, Ritu; Halpert, Steven; Harris, Jamey; Harrison, Heather; Herrera, Heather; Joachim, Carson; Jocher, John; Johnson, Kelli; Jones, Bonner; Jordan, John; Kennedy, Collin; Kerbow, Fran; Kibler, Dawn; Kidd, Tammy; Kols

Judge William Hatten

I just learned that Judge William Hatten passed away this morning. He lived a long, happy, and distinguished life. He was retired from the bench and doing only his visiting judge job when I first met him . I extend my sympathy on his passing and my congratulations on a life well lived.

Tonight's Reasonable Doubt (6/16/11)

Tune in for tonight's Reasonable Doubt with host Todd Dupont.  I know you will all be devastated and beside yourselves to know that I will not be co-hosting tonight as I will be out of town, but Franklin Bynum will be filling in with the guest-hosting duties (I hear this is how Jay Leno got his start). Todd and Franklin's guest tonight will be Jani Maselli from the Public Defender's Office. As always, you can tune in by clicking here .


Yesterday, this blog reached a milestone by getting its one millionth "click." Although I'm excited about reaching that number, I have to admit that "clicks" can be a little misleading in their perceived numerical importance.  A blog basically registers a statistical "click" every time you, well, um, click on it.  If you come to the website in the first place, and then click on a post to see the comments, and then come back to the main page, that was three clicks right there, for example. On average, this blog gets around one thousand to twelve hundred clicks a day, with about five hundred to six hundred individual readers (according to  As I've mentioned to many people, when I started this sucker about three years ago, I never would have imagined how much I would enjoy writing for it and keeping it running.  It is so bizarre to me how it seems to have taken on a life of its own and how many people I've gotten to know

Moving On

The Harris County District Attorney's Office continues its loss of prosecutors this month with the departures of two District Court Chiefs and a senior Felony Three.  Kevin Petroff, Darin Darby and Jamie Collier Burns have all announced this month that they will be moving on to greener pastures. Back in the olden days, a felony chief leaving the office was an occurrence that happened maybe once or twice a year.  It is kind of interesting to see that two are leaving in the same week now. I'm not sure what Darin and Jamie will be doing with their future careers, but Kevin is headed down to Galveston County to be a Felony Division chief.  It is a good match for both him, and District Attorney Jack Roady.  I spoke with Jack on the phone today, and he is very excited to be getting Kevin. I mean no disrespect to Darin or Jamie, but Kevin's departure from Harris County is a particularly significant loss for the Office.  Despite his uncanny resemblance to Howdy Doody, Kevin w

The Things We Found in the Flood

It is hard to believe that it has been 10 years since Tropical Storm Allison.  In some ways, it seems like yesterday.  In others, it seems like another lifetime ago. In June of 2001, the Harris County Criminal Justice Center had been up and running for almost a year and a half, and we learned that we were going to get a little rain that weekend.  I don't think that any of us at the D.A.'s Office had any idea what would come next.  Unlike a hurricane that we can nervously track for weeks in advance, Tropical Storm Allison ended up being a rainstorm that severely overstayed its welcome. I was a first time Felony Three in the 263rd District Court with Jeff Laird as my chief and Valerie Turner as my Two.  I was a proud first time home owner of about two weeks, who was coming to grips with the idea that he hadn't gotten flood insurance as the water slowly crawled up the front yard toward the house.  Luckily, it stopped about six inches before coming inside. I thought the w

Local Boy Makes Good

I was glad to see my friend and fellow Harris County District Attorney Alumni David Harbach is still doing well with the United States Department of Justice.  I learned from a mutual friend today that David is one of three prosecutors assigned to prosecuting the John Edwards case. You can read more about it by clicking here . If you worked at the D.A.'s Office within the past ten years, I'm sure you remember David.  He was a great guy and a great prosecutor.  I'm glad to see that the Feds are (wisely) trusting him with such a big case. Congrats, David.

Reversal of Fortune

Congratulations are in order to my good friend, Patty Sedita, for getting t he Jeri Montgomery case reversed with an order of acquittal by the 14th Court of Appeals .  The opinion is a very interesting read. If you will recall, Ms. Montgomery was the young lady convicted of Criminally Negligent Homicide for being involved in an automobile fatality while talking on her cell phone.  She was convicted and sentenced to ten years probation.  As a parting shot, name-calling enthusiast and Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos called Ms. Montgomery "selfish and narcissistic". No word yet on whether or not Lykos will be retracting her name calling and issuing an apology. Kind of doubt it.

Tonight's Reasonable Doubt (6/2/11)

Join me and Todd Dupont on Reasonable Doubt tonight at 8:00 p.m.  Our guest will be defense attorney Franklin Bynum . As always, you can tune in by clicking here for live streaming video .